Sometimes the most comforting foods are also the most simplistic. Using straightforward steps and ingredients you probably already have, boil up this soup that will satisfy your stomach and your heart.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 20 g butter
- 3 large (600 g) brown onions, chopped coarsely
- 2 trimmed (200 g) celery stalks, chopped coarsely
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 litre chicken stock
- 1.5 litres water
- 1.5 kg ham hocks
- 3 parsley stalks, leaves reserved
- 2 cups (400 g) green split peas
- 2 cups (250 g) frozen peas
- 2 tbsps chopped parsley leaves
- Garlic bread or bagels for serving
Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan on medium heat; cook onion, celery and garlic, stirring, for about 10 mins or until vegetables are softened and browned lightly. Add stock, water, ham and parsley stalks. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, simmer, cover, for 1 hour. Add green split peas, simmer, cover, for a further 45 mins or until peas are very tender.
Remove ham hocks and parsley stalks from soup. Shred meat; and discard skin, bone and parsley stalks.
Blend or process half the soup mixture with thawed peas in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to same saucepan with shredded ham. Stir over heat until hot. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ladle into serving bowls, top with parsley and serve with garlic bread, if desired.
Pea and Ham Soup will thicken considerably upon standing, and especially after refrigeration. Add a little water to thin it down when you reheat it.